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HBCC #3165 – 1834 w/Motto Half Eagle – Obverse HBCC #3165 – 1834 w/Motto Half Eagle – Reverse
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1834 w/Motto Half Eagle


Although almost 75,000 1834 half eagles of this design type were minted, apparently only 50,141 examples actually left the Mint. The remaining 25,000 coins were melted and coined into the lower weight Classic Head design, introduced upon passage of the Act of June 28, 1834. Four die varieties in the Bass Collection were minted from three different obverse dies and three reverse dies. This obverse has a plain 4 in the date. Walter Breen mentioned another obverse die with plain 4, that having the final digit leaning slightly to the left and almost entirely left of the curl above.

From Superior's sale of December 1972, Lot 1942.
"Obverse: Plain 4, leaning right. Short, sharp tipped 1. Crossbar of 8 imperfect. 4 centered under heavy, full curl. No crack. Reverse: 5 D . centered between leaves and A. 5 entirely under arrow feathers. Oblate period. Tip of middle arrowhead below space between I C. Tip of lowest arrowhead beneath right serif of left base of A. E centered over B. Rear claw but a miniscule lump remnant below top leaf pair. No rust between lower shield stripes. N.B. Plain 4 leaning left not believed to exist. Cf. Breen Encyclopedia 6499. Plate of Mehl/Roach #555 shows 4 leaning right, as here; reverse as here. Roach #556 is 1/B. Also, see Breen's Early U.S. Half Eagles 1795-1838 (1966); where I-2 refers to Chapman/Smith Plate V, #226; and Parmelee Plate 12, #1030. Both are have Crosslet 4 as obverse 2, from cracked die. Smith lot #224 is misnumbered on plate as #226."